July 1954


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;94(1):1-4. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00250010007001

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WE ARE children of uncertainty. We live in an age which strives frantically for comfort and reassurance that all is well. While seeking the absolute, we are fearful of error and uncertain of truth. As medical organizations form, as bureaus multiply, as journals proliferate, as size increases, a sense of personal or corporate responsibility suffers from a corrosive rusting outside and a caseating crumbling away inside. Rarely do we challenge or even look at our own fixed habits. Let me examine briefly this phenomenon as it applies to medical journalism, particularly the reporting of research, the writing of editorials, and the art of reviewing books or new advances.

The editor and board of editors of medical journals have many responsibilities —to advance knowledge, to disseminate information, to present facts, interpretations, and their implications and impacts. No thoughtful reader expects to agree with everything he reads. He wants honest facts, honestly

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